Friday, April 26, 2013

Wimbly Lu: Favourite Waffle with Ice Cream in Singapore!

Hello all! Here's a short post on one of my favourite topics: food!!

You may have already heard of Wimbly Lu, which is a modest little cafe popular for its desserts and death by chocolate. This place is only about a 7 minute drive away from my home (in the vicinity of Serangoon), so I can't believe it took me so long to actually visit it! I went once, and knew I had to bring YZ there, because he is a huge lover of chocolate and all things sweet and sinful!

Digressing a little, I'm not too sure where the last two weeks disappeared to, because it's apparently been two weeks since my last update.. Horrors!!! My excuse is that I was spirited away to Hong Kong Disneyland for a short getaway, and somehow had countless other things keeping me busy, thus the lack of updates. I've been battling the acne monster too, meh. Separate post on that next time, yah?

You can still find me on Instagram (@yinagoh) where I update more frequently! Yayness. My formspring account has also been temporarily disabled, so leave a comment here or drop me an email if you're looking for me :)

Wimbly Lu Jalan Riang
Wimbly Lu is hidden in a private estate near Serangoon Avenue 3, and it's not difficult to spot once you turn into Jalan Riang, due to the distinctive vintage Beetle parked right outside the entrance!

Wimbly Lu Jalan Riang
The place is really crowded despite its location, so I suggest heading down on weekdays so you don't have to wait so long for a table! We went down late on a weekday night and the place was still packed D:

Wimbly Lu Jalan Riang
It's tiny and quaint, and there's an assortment of mismatched ornaments and knick knacks on display, which lends a very cozy and homely vibe to the cafe.

Wimbly Lu Jalan Riang
Here's just a small portion of the desserts in the chilled display!

Wimbly Lu Jalan Riang
There are strung up lights and origami decorating the overhead beams and walls, so I think it's especially pretty at night! :)

There's a huge huge huge selection of desserts on the menu.. It's really hard to choose from! :( Prices are quite friendly as well, most items on the menu range around $5-$8!

Wimbly Lu Jalan Riang
The boyfriend! I find it unfair how men mostly look so presentable without having to put makeup on.

Wimbly Lu Jalan Riang
Nude face, but of course I still photoshopped away my blemishes :P
Notice anything different about my brows? :D

Wimbly Lu Waffle Salted Caramel
My favourite Waffle with Salted Caramel and Honey Cinnamon Ice Cream, drizzled with toffee sauce! One of the best waffles with ice cream I've tasted in my opinion! It costs $8.50 with one scoop of ice cream, but the ice cream portion isn't very big, so I asked for an extra scoop!

The waffle is browned to a nice crisp exterior, while the insides remain soft and fluffy. It tastes SO good with their ice cream! You have got to order it with the Salted Caramel ice cream, which goes wonderfully with the toffee sauce and waffle. So far, this ranks among my top favourites for waffle with ice cream! (Other contenders include Gelare and Marble Slab, which has a surprisingly good waffle!)

Wimbly Lu Molten Lava Cake
We also got the Molten Lava Cake which is $6, it's a modest serving size too, but recommended only for the chocolate lovers! I personally prefer my lava cake with a good vanilla ice cream to counter the heaviness of the chocolate but this one comes without, so I left it to YZ to finish it off.

Wimbly Lu Molten Lava Cake
Gooey and chocolatey! It's not too sweet, but extremely extremely rich and heavy.

I've also tried the Root Beer Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream ($6) previously which I like better than the Molten Lava Cake, It's a very moist cake with a tinge of root beer, and is very popular as well! Next on my list will be the Sticky Date Pudding , Bread and Butter Pudding, and Apple Pie! (As you might realise, I'm not such a huge fan of chocolate desserts, though I do like my chocolate!)

Wimbly Lu is definitely worth a visit for the desserts if you live in the vicinity, and I like it that the prices are affordable too! My only gripe is that the tables are all crammed together a little too close for comfort, so if you're looking for a quiet and intimate place where you can converse in privacy, Wimbly Lu isn't the place you want. For me, the waffle with ice cream is really the main attraction! I'll be back just for that to-die-for waffle with salted caramel ice cream!


***

Wimbly Lu is located at:
15-2 Jalan Riang 
Tel: 62891489

Opening hours:
Tue - Fri: 12:00 - 22:30 
Sat - Sun: 09:00 - 23:00

***

TGIF! :) I'm currently sifting through the huge amount of photos we took in Hong Kong Disneyland and I can't wait to share them soon! Heh. Will be working hard on regularly updating this space! Come back again soon okay :D

xoxo

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Instagram and the Abuse of Inappropriate Hashtags.

Some of you might have seen the commotion on one of my recent Instagram posts of late.

Firstly,
Let me first clarify that I am not out to shame any individual publicly, which was never my intention in the first place.

I am against the flagrant misuse of shop hashtags, which has been going on for some time, despite the efforts of many shops that have been going around, commenting ONE BY ONE on every single picture to politely ask the said Instagram user to please kindly remove any inappropriate hashtags.

This has been going on for some time, but I felt that the situation had reached a whole new low when I came across this: Someone actually hashtagging pictures of her cosmetics for sale, with shop hashtags.

-____-


As you can see, I was so mad about it that I actually left a comment with my personal account, quite politely asking this user to stop abusing hashtags, because it is extremely unethical, to me at least.

AND GUESS WHAT?

This person actually ignored me, and had the cheek to delete my comment, pretending that nothing ever happened!

I don't deny it, I was extremely pissed off. And so I posted this on my Instagram.


To the kind folks who have agreed with me, left a comment of support, and helped to report those users/photos, thank you so much. Some other users have commented that I am being unnecessarily harsh, but in fact, I am just minding my own business (literally!)

Why am I so pissed off with inappropriate hashtagging?

Hashtags are there for a purpose.

When I search for a particular hashtag, obviously, I am looking for Instagram pictures of something in specific. Especially when it comes to names and brands. 

For instance, if I were to search for #AngelinaJolie, I sure don't wish to see pictures of random unattractive naked girls who look nothing like Angelina Jolie. And if I search for #Chanel, I am not interested in random pictures of quilted imitation bags from Taobao that have been happily tagged as #Chanel too. Hashtags are there to facilitate easy browsing and sharing on Instagram, NOT for abusing by being used inappropriately!

For many customers who search for a particular shop hashtag, what they are looking for are Instagram pictures of outfits and reviews, from customers who have bought/worn items from the shop, or yes, even buying/selling posts of apparel, but only relevant to the shop.

By inappropriately hashtagging all these shops, customers and myself have to trawl through a HUGE amount of junk, and it is really really frustrating when all you want to do is look at nice pictures of outfits.

There are even more unscrupulous people, who have their own shops and resort to hashtagging the "popular" shops in order to get more viewership for their shops. SERIOUSLY? That is the lowest of the low. I can't even begin to tell you how much I abhor unethical business people, even more than unethical people in general.

Just take a look at one of the most popular online shops in Singapore, and their hashtag gallery.


Out of the first 21 photos, 14 of them are NOT EVEN RELATED to LoveBonito. That is the extent to which hashtags are being abused by our local shopping community on Instagram. It is ridiculous.


How you can help to play a part

If you are a customer of the shop viewing their hashtag gallery, and you see all these inappropriately tagged photos, what you can do is to tap on the "Photo Options", to "Report Inappropriate" and flag the photo as spam.

Tap on the button on the bottom right.

Then tap on "Report Inappropriate"

And you can report the photo as spam.

Good riddance to all these spam photos, and let's make Instagram and shop hashtags a pleasanter experience for everybody! If you are one of those guilty of inappropriate hashtags, I implore you to stop doing so, and only use the appropriate hashtags at your own discernment.

xoxo

 PS. I have removed the photo on my Instagram as nicely requested by the person in question who has also removed her inappropriate pictures/hashtags, but I wish to increase awareness of this issue, which is why I am posting it on my blog instead.

PPS. I don't usually like to rant or bitch on this space, but let's just say I woke up with fiery intent to make the world a better place.

PPPS. If some of you ignorant folks are gonna say, WTF, you think you own that hashtag on Instagram? Who are you to tell me to stop using it? I'd like to say this to you. Dude, you don't own the road either, so you mean I can't tell you not to litter on the roads if I see you doing so? Please get the idea of social etiquette and courtesy into your befuzzled mind.

PPPPS. If you don't shop online, or don't belong to the local online shopping community, you probably have no idea what the fuss is all about, in which case, just ignore this post!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tim Ho Wan Singapore at Plaza Singapura!

I'm sure many have heard of the famous Michelin Star Dim Sum Restaurant in Hong Kong: the one and only Tim Ho Wan! This modest dimsum eatery has gained so much popularity in Hong Kong that one has got to queue for hours just to get a spot in the restaurant.

Tim Ho Wan has opened its very first overseas outlet, where else.. but in Singapore! Super exciting news for dim sum lovers like myself, because I've only heard raves about Tim Ho Wan, but never had a chance to visit Hong Kong to try it!

Forget about traveling all the way to Hong Kong just for "authentic" dim sum. Now, you can get a taste of the famed Baked Bun with BBQ Pork at Tim Ho Wan Singapore's newly open outlet at Plaza Singapura!

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura
I jumped at the opportunity to attend a media tasting session at Tim Ho Wan Singapore the day before its official opening.. All my friends were so envious, and I can't say I blame them hehe! Thank you Brand Cellar for the invite! ;)

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura
Just so you know, Tim Ho Wan Singapore officially opens TODAY, 10th April!

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura Dining
The interior of the restaurant is pretty old school and fuss-free, and sits a hundred customers.

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura Menu
There's quite a large selection available on Tim Ho Wan Singapore's menu, and we hear that they will be unveiling special dim sum that's been adapted to local taste in time to come!

I was so excited to try the dimsum and had extremely high expectations.. After all, Tim Ho Wan is known for being the One Star Michelin Dimsum Restaurant in Hongkong! Michelin standard, no joke.

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura Dim Sum
We couldn't wait, and practically ordered every thing that looked tempting on the menu. Each order is made fresh, so you can be ascertained of absolute freshness, as well as the best texture and flavour for every dish!

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura Teochew Dumpling
Steamed Dumpling Teochew Style (S$4 for 3)

The first dish to arrive piping hot at our table was the Steam Dumpling Teochew Style. These dumplings had a nice soft translucent skin that wasn't too thick or tough, but I found the filling rather unmemorable, and I wouldn't order it again.

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura Steamed Egg Cake
Steamed Egg Cake (S$3.80)

One of Tim Ho Wan's "Big 4 Heavenly Kings", this egg cake resembles our local "Huat Kueh" but had a slightly more cake-like texture. We heard that this was the hardest dish to perfect in our local climate due to the high humidity and temperature, it took the kitchen quite some time to get the dish right! I'm not a big fan of Huat Kuehs so I only tried a bit of it. It was a little unimpressive in its flavour and texture because I didn't find it fragrant or soft enough, especially once the cake had cooled down and lost its freshly steamed softness.

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura Prawn Dumpling
Prawn Dumpling (S$5.50 for 4)

I loved this one: Har Gao can be a hit or miss in many of our local dimsum restaurants, and can often be lackluster if the prawn is not fresh, or if the dumpling skin is too hard and thick. This one was neither, and had a nice juicy filling with quite a generous portion of crunchy prawns in it! Yum! Ordered another two portions of this cos one wasn't enough for our table!

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura Beef Balls
Steamed Beef Balls with Beancurd Skin ($4.20 for 3)

This one sounded very very promising from the menu, but the actual dish did not live up to my expectations, I could hardly discern the flavour of beef, and I felt that it tasted more like starch rather than meat. The beancurd was bland as well, and I had to use a generous amount of chilli in order to spice this dish up. Decent still, but nothing to shout about.

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura Char Siew Pau
Baked Bun with BBQ Pork ($4.50 for 3)

The dish that I was waiting for: the famous char siew pau! This is DEFINITELY a must-order! One cannot step into Tim Ho Wan Singapore without ordering at least 2-3 portions of this delicious BBQ Pork Bun. With its crumbly soft exterior that has a slightly sweet taste to it and the flavorful char siew oozing out of this bun, it is utterly addictive, and I believe I finished off 3-4 buns all by myself! It is super melt-in-the-mouth goodness! No wonder this is their star dish. Two thumbs up!

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura Baked Bun BBQ Pork
Just take a look at the char siew oozing out of the bun! Trust me, it's near orgasmic. Everyone on my table agreed as well!

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura Siew Mai
Pork Dumpling with Shrimp (S$5.00 for 4)

This was another of my favourite dishes, it tastes especially good freshly served from the kitchen, with its firm skin and tender juicy meat filling! I liked the portion size too, it was just right. Not too big nor too small. Siew Mai is my must-order dish at every dimsum restaurant, and Tim Ho Wan Singapore's version definitely fared amongst the better ones I've had in Singapore.

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura Spring Roll
Spring Roll with Egg White (S$4.20 for 3)

I don't generally enjoy deep fried spring rolls, but this one was a pleasant surprise that stood out from the norm! Instead of the usual radish fillings that we usually have, this spring roll came with egg white and carrots. It sounds bland, but was surprisingly tasty! I loved the contrasting texture of the spring roll skin that was fried to a crispy and crunchy finish, together with the soft egg white filling. Mmmmm.

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura Chee Cheong Fan
Vermicelli Roll (Chee Cheong Fun) with BBQ Pork (S$5.50 for 3)

This was one of the dishes that I felt slightly let down by. I absolutely love a good chee cheong fun, and I found this one a little too tasteless. The sheets of vermicelli were too thick, and thus it did not absorb the flavours of the char siew filling and savoury sauce well. Strangely enough, the Pig's Liver version fared better, with the cheong fan taking on a stronger and richer flavor, probably due to the pig's liver.

From what I know, the chefs are still perfecting this dish, as they have had to work with different machines from the ones that were used in Hong Kong, so I do hope that this dish will be much better the next time I visit Tim Ho Wan Singapore!

Five different variations of Vermicelli Roll (Chee Cheong Fun) are available at Tim Ho Wan Singapore: BBQ Pork ($5.50), Shrimp ($5.50), Beef ($5.50), Black Pepper ($5) and the signature Pig’s Liver ($5.50), which is one of the "4 Heavenly Kings".


Pan-fried Carrot Cake ($4.50 for 3)

The last of Tim Ho Wan's "4 Heavenly Kings", the Pan-Fried Carrot Cake had a soft texture with generous bits of fresh radish in it to really bring out its flavor! I felt that it wasn't sturdy enough, because it fell apart a little too easily when I tried to pick it up with my chopsticks, and I would prefer it to be just a little firmer.

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura Osmanthus Cake
Tonic Medlar and Osmanthus Cake ($3.50 for 3) 

We finally ended off the session with a nicely chilled tonic medlar and osmanthus cake that had a flowery fragrance to it and was quite enjoyable! It was just a tad sweet for my taste, but I liked the cold gelatinous texture that was soft and smooth.

My overall verdict:

Although some dishes did not quite live up to the hype, I definitely left Tim Ho Wan Singapore with an extremely satisfied tummy, and enjoyed a huge number of the dishes! I will certainly be back for the BBQ Pork Buns, as well as some of the other tasty dishes like the Siew Mai, Har Gao, and Fried Springrolls.

Because every single dish is made-to-order, it really makes a difference to the freshness of their food. You can taste the difference in texture and flavour!

I believe that the standard of the food at Tim Ho Wan Singapore will only improve in the months to come, because some of the recipes are still being tweaked in order to get the best taste and texture, due to the differences in humidity and climate on our tropical island as compared to Hong Kong.

One more thing, you have got to try their specially made chilli sauce because it went extremely well with all of the dishes! :D

***

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura Opening
Brought YZ along as my plus one.. He's one lucky boyfriend! :P

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura Table
Our table of hungry people: Vel, Fred, Evonne, YZ and myself! We were quite startled by the amount of dishes that we ordered when they starting serving them one by one on the table! :X But we finished almost everything!

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura Bloggers
With mai gorgeous Evonne! ^.^

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura Bloggers
And one with Melissa, Vel and Evonne. This was after dinner, and we were trying so hard to keep in all the exploding tummies!

Tim Ho Wan Singapore Plaza Singapura Chef Mak
We were so honored to get to meet Chef Mak Kwai Pui himself, and he was so down-to-earth and humble!

Thank you Chef Mak for bringing the most delicious Char Siew Pau ever to our little island! With my limited command of Cantonese, all I could tell Chef Mak was, "Char siew pau hou hou sek ah!!!!"

***

Tim Ho Wan (Singapore) is located at:

#01-29 Plaza Singapura The Atrium @ Orchard 
68 Orchard Road 
Tel: +65 6251 2000

Opening Hours: 10.00am – 10.00pm 
(First-come-first-serve basis; no reservations)

***

Outfit:
TheVelvetDolls Stitched Porcelain Bustier
TheVelvetDolls Isabella Maxi Skirt
Prada Saffiano Lux

***

You have gotta go down to Tim Ho Wan Singapore, and please do yourself a favour and order the orgasmic BBQ Pork Bun!!! I'll be dreaming about it tonight. Heh.

One good news is that Tim Ho Wan Singapore has implemented a queue system that allows patrons to come and get a queue number, if the waiting time is too long, they can go shopping instead of having to wait in line! A notification will be sent via SMS when the table is ready, which I think is fantastic, you won't have to waste any time queuing! There is also a takeaway counter at Tim Ho Wan Singapore, with a take-a-number queue system and electronic indicator display to facilitate the waiting process.

With the tasty dimsum at such affordable prices (starting from $3.80), Tim Ho Wan Singapore is surely going to be a huge hit on our islands!

“Bao Day” on 28th April
Tim Ho Wan believes in giving back to society, and on 28th April 2013, they will be organizing the Bao Day and charity event, where they will only be selling their famous pork buns! All proceeds will go to The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund and aid underprivileged children in Singapore.

Stay in the loop with Tim Ho Wan Singapore's Facebook page too!

xoxo

Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Halia at Raffles Hotel!

The name Halia brings back fond memories for me.

The Halia at the Botanic Gardens was one of my most memorable dining experiences: YZ and I spent our first anniversary there, and it was an unforgettable night for me, the beautiful garden setting, the amazing culinary fare we tasted, and also how we tried to walk our way out of the Botanic Gardens and ended up lost, we wandered our way through the private estates until a kind lady in a Mercedes actually drove past us, and backtracked to inquire if we needed a ride out to the main road!

We were dressed in matching couple tee-shirts and I was carrying a bouquet of flowers, so you can imagine what a ridiculous sight we were. Thank goodness, there are still many kind-hearted Samaritans around, and we were fortunate enough to encounter one! It was a memorable night in many ways, and almost five years down the road, I still have a special spot in my heart for The Halia at the Botanic Gardens.


I was pleasantly surprised to learn that The Halia has now branched out of its leafy setting at the Gardens, and you can now find The Halia at the iconic Raffles Hotel, which is conveniently located right in the heart of Cityhall. Super awesome news!


Not a bit of ambience is lost: there are gorgeous French windows and planted leafy foliage within the restaurant, in line with the garden-themed dining that The Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens is so famed for. A garden in a concrete jungle. I love it!


If you've dined at Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens, you know that the prices are pretty exquisite, if you know what I mean. Hahaha.

The Halia at Raffles Hotel is positioned as an urban-casual restaurant, serving up contemporary European cuisine with Asian touches. When I took a look at the menu, I was wow-ed by how much more affordable the prices were, in comparison to The Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens! Affordability is always good news for the consumer. Yay!

Also, The Halia at Raffles Hotel introduces a new dining concept of "Small Plates' and "Big Plates" instead of the typical "Appetizers" and "Mains" that we have come to expect at such restaurants, and it is a really refreshing way of dining! This allows you to create your own unique dining experience that's both flexible and fun!


Singapore Sling by Hendrick's $28
Hendrick's Gin, CHerry Brandy, Cointreau, Pineapple Juice, Grenadine Syrup and Benedictine D.O.M

I started the night by indulging in a Singapore Sling. Not much of a drinker, but this had a nice tangy taste to it without too much alcohol. I still couldn't finish it though!


Small Plates
An assortment of small plates were served, which was extremely enjoyable. I love variety in my food, so the more the merrier!


Wagyu Beef Carpaccio $24
Truffle aioli, micro cress, chilli lemon salt, pickled radish

This was delicious: the thinly-sliced pieces of raw wagyu beef simply melted in the mouth, and was well-complemented by the additon of spices and picked radish! No raw meat taste whatsoever. Loved it!


Celeriac "Lasagna" $12
Mushroom, thyme, baby spinach, lemon, madeira cream

An interesting dish that is surprisingly rich for being meat-less! It is actually made of Celeriac, but designed to taste like a Lasagna, with sheets of celeriac in a delicious cream sauce. Great option, even if you're not vegan!


Cured Hiramasa Kingfish $25
Paprika, citrus, espelette pepper, lemon, daikon, sauce vierge

This tangy dish really whet my appetite and I enjoyed the tender Kingfish slices in it that gave a nice contrast to the crunchy daikon (there are three kinds of radishes in it if I recall rightly!)


Oriental Pulled Duck $18
Gherkin, caper, micro herb salad, soba noodle, sesame oil

I thought that this dish was pretty interesting because it's so asian, duck and soba, anyone? I found the pulled duck unmemorable, while the soba noodles were firm and tasted delicious coated in a light sesame oil.


Foie Gras Salad $23
Apricot chutney, ginger, blueberry, crouton, almond kernel

You definitely have to try this if you enjoy foie gras! This is sinfulness masquerading as a salad haha. Every bite of foie gras is pure heaven, and surprisingly tasted wonderful with the apricot chutney, fruity bits and greens! The rich flavorful taste of the foie gras was well-balanced by its salad counterparts. Definitely one of my favorite "small plate"!

Side Orders

We also had two side orders to share, and both were so addictive to munch on! Meh. So much for my non-fried food diet, but they were too good to give it a miss!


Polenta coated asparagus, basic lemon mayo $9

Greens are good for you, right? Not so sure about this dish, but it was certainly crispy and crunchy with the polenta coated batter, and with the lemon mayo dip on the side, it was hard to stop at a few!


Potato fries, truffle aioli and piquant mayo $7

Okay, I LOVE fries, and this just made it to the top of my list. The fries had a crisp exterior with a soft potatoey interior, and accompanied by the truffle aioli and piquant mayo, they were so good I really couldn't help myself. There you go #dietfail

Big Plates

We then moved on to the big plates.. But you can probably imagine that I was quite stuffed by then! Thankfully (or not), my appetite can be humongous, especially if good food and occasion call for it. HAHA.


Sous Vide Baharat Chicken Leg $28
Butternut squash puree and roast ginger, coriander red pepper salsa

I've been reading a lot of food blogs lately, and this Sous Vide cooking method has really intrigued me!  Well, this dish certainly is a glowing testimonial to the wonders of Sous Vide, the chicken meat was absolutely tender and juicy, while being flavorful and firm! It was not dry at all, really. You have to taste it to believe it!


Seafood Gratin $26
Pignolina pasta, basil, parmesan, olive oil

We Asians love our carbs. I'm sure my boyfriend would have a field day with this dish, it's cheesy carb goodness in one huge dish you cannot miss! The texture of the pignolina pasta was interesting, because it almost tasted like rice, but had a firmer and more chewy texture! Yums!


Check out the creamy innards!


Halia Chilli Crab $25
Spaghettini, spring onion, egg

East meets West in The Halia's signature Chilli Crab pasta dish, and it comes with generous chunks of crab in our favourite chilli crab sauce! It's not as spicy as the typical Chilli Crab dish, but on the whole very palatable and tasty.


Javanese spice Maori Lakes Rack of Lamb $49
Eggplant Puree, red pepper relish

I am not a huge fan of lamb, but this has got to be one of the most delicious racks of lamb I've tasted! The lamb meat was tender, with a rich meaty flavor that was not gamey at all! The well-charred exterior of the lamb revealed a soft juicy interior, and the eggplant puree and red pepper relish went so well.

We then moved on to desserts, but not before I settled my tummy with another of The Halia's signature ginger infusion drink!

Halia Infusion (Hot) $10
Halia signature of sundred ginger and wild mountain honey

This is said to aid digestion and it certainly felt like it helped to wash down all the food that I had! I like the sharp taste of the ginger with the sweetness of the honey, and the soothing warmth of the hot infusion.

Desserts

A meal as fine as this is not complete without desserts! And yes, there is always room for desserts, muahahaha.


Ginger Nougat Parfait $10
Caramelised pineapple, puff pastry, almond, anise, cinnamon

Ginger lovers would adore this! I found the taste interesting, it was a combination of the sharp tang of ginger with the rich nuttiness of the almond and anise, and the aromatic scent of cinnamon. But I still prefer my slightly more traditional desserts..


Chilled Strawberry Soup $12
Sparkling wine, balsamic, lime sorbet, black pepper

A super refreshing way to finish off a solid meal, the chilled strawberry soup was tart and invigorating with every spoonful! I loved the lime sorbert, and the slightly acidic taste of the balsamic vinegar. Did you know that balsamic vinegar draws out the natural sweetness of strawberries? Match made in heaven! The unexpected addition of black pepper was a surprisingly nice touch as well!


Here is the sparkling wine being poured into the dish on the spot. You cannot taste the alcohol much, or so I felt! Which is a bonus point for me. Hahaha.


Sticky Toffee Pudding $10
Date, butterscotch sauce, sea salt, vanilla ice cream

Sticky Toffee Pudding is one of my top favourite desserts! This was SO good we had to ask for seconds. And we did!! Promptly wiped out by the four girls on our side of the table, in probably about twenty seconds or less. The pudding was rich and moist, while the butterscotch sauce gave it that extra savoury kick. Also check out the specks of vanilla bean in the scoop of vanilla ice cream! Went so so so well with the pudding. And by the way, it is only $10 which is super affordable? (Marmalade Pantry's is about $14.90 if I remember correctly...) Now I know where to go when I'm craving for my Sticky Toffee Pudding fix!


White Chocolate Mousse $12
Chocolate soil, peach puree, raspberry, chocolate ice cream

This deconstructed looking dessert was almost as good as the Sticky Toffee Pudding (well, I'm biased) The scoop of chocolate ice cream was sticky and rich, and the white chocolate mousse is just to-die-for with its milky sweetness! The texture of the chocolate soil gave this dish a different dimension, while the tart raspberry helped to offset the almost-too-rich taste of the chocolate ice cream and white chocolate mousse.

And that was the end of our delicious meal: I am SO bringing YZ here soon! I love it that the prices are much more affordable, so while The Halia at Singapore Botanic Gardens is somewhere special I would reserve for occasions, The Halia at Raffles Hotel is a place I know I'd end up being a regular patron of, what with its convenient location and affordability!


Here's the lovely ladies who shared the table with me, Jess, Rachie, and Nadia! Thankfully, I know these girls pretty well, so our dinner was a fun session with all kinds of non-appropriate dinner topics flying around the table. Muahahaha.

By the way, The Halia at Raffles Hotel also has an al fresco bar!. Positioned to serve hand-crafted, artisanal beverage products from around the world, the bar has been chosen by William Grant & Sons to become an international showcase for their range of products, and is slated to host all Balvenie & Hendrick's Gin brand ambassadors visiting the region.


Here's a lovely shot of the three ladies and myself. Ooh we are so color co-ordinated like a traffic light. Lolol.


Rach and myself, we're actually secondary school classmates and it's really nice to re-connect with old friends after so many years! Had a great time catching up!


With the small but feisty Nadia, we frequently moan together over the woes of weight loss! Well Nad's doing pretty well, but myself, MEH.


And pretty Jess! Always such a pleasure to dine together with Jess! Can't wait for us to go nom on some Northern Indian cuisine together soon! ;D


Outfit shot. Hahaha I feel so awkward posing sometimes. MEH. Apparently you just have to throw a scarf over everything and you'll look like a tai tai! :D

Wore the Scallop Hem Suede Skirt in Black (I must have worn it countless times!) with just a bright lime yellow tube and a scarf! My most trusty nude wedges from Sœurs (located at Cineleisure level 2) And my hair looks oh-so-gorgeous because that was the day I got it done! Blog post on that soon. Heh.

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The Halia is located at Raffles Hotel

1 Beach Road
#01-22/23
Singapore 189673
Tel: 9639 1148


Opening Hours:
Mon to Fri
11.30am – 10pm
Sat, Sun & PH
11am – 10pm

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One last very important thing: Go for the Pre-Theatre Dinner Set if you can, because it is super super value for money! For $28++, you can get a 2 course meal, while for $33++, you can get a 3 course meal (1 small plate + 1 big plate + 1 dessert)

THAT IS EXTREMELY GOOD VALUE. Especially for the amazing quality of food you can expect!

Only available from 5.30PM - 7PM though!

Thank you FoodNews PR for the invitation! :) I had a spectacular dinner and I can't wait to be back at The Halia at Raffles Hotel again! :)

Gonna spend my Sunday replying emails! Yes the emails are almost exploding out of my inbox nooooooo. Go go go fighting!